The 13 Biggest Stories of 2013

From the explosion of digital-first content to brand acquisitions to major organizational changes, the following stories represent the deals and companies that shaped the licensing business in 2013 and were also among the most widely viewed. 

DreamWorks: New Team, New Dream Click here to read the article

In addition to re-organizing and re-focusing its consumer products division, as discussed in License! Global’s June cover story, DreamWorks made a series of huge acquisitions (Trolls, AwesomenessTV) that will shape the studio for many years to come.

Click here to see 2013's other big EXECUTIVE MOVES

Disney Unveils New Game System Click here to read the article

The year was punctuated by big news from the world’s No. 1 licensor, but perhaps the most significant move Disney made in 2013 was the launch of its new interactive gaming platform, Disney Infinity.

The Timeless Doctor Who Click here to read the article

Fans and licensees around the world celebrated the 50th anniversary of the iconic BBC sci-fi series with special events and a slew of product.

Click here to see other top brands that celebrated ANNIVERSARIES in 2013.

Marvel + Netflix: An Epic TV Deal Click here to read the article

Everyone loves a good comeback story. 2013 ended on a high note for Netflix as the online content provider battled back from the brink of extinction and became a content creator as well. In the process, the company proved that digital content could hold its own against the networks, and Marvel showed its confidence when it chose Netflix for its next superhero TV series.

Gwyneth Paltrow Wows Licensing Expo Click here to read the article

There was a lot of news to come out of June’s Licensing Expo in Las Vegas, Nev., with Flo Rida performing and attendance up 10 percent, but Gwyneth Paltrow’s keynote address took the cake.

Activision’s Skylanders Wins Program of the Year Click here to read the article

Always a highlight of the year, LIMA’s annual awards ceremony at Licensing Expo celebrated the best brands and extensions of the year, with Activision taking home the top prize for its Skylanders property.

Beanstalk Launches Digital Arm Click here to read this article

Digital properties have proven their strength over the last decade, and in a nod to this ever-growing field, Beanstalk, opened a division dedicated solely to digital properties.

Click here to see other 2013 AGENCY NEWS

Mattel Forms Content Division Click here to read the article

Gone are the days when companies stick to their own sandbox. Case in point–Mattel, which launched its own production company to create multi-platform content for brands like Barbie, Monster High and Hot Wheels.

WME Buys IMG Click here to read this article

This deal makes our list, not only because IMG is the biggest licensing agency in the world, but also because it was bought by another talent agency, thereby creating the largest talent management company in the world.

Click here to see other 2013 AGENCY NEWS

Myron Ullman Returns to JCPenney Click here to read the article

The former JCP CEO was reinstated when Ron Johnson (of Apple Store fame) stepped down last spring after his ambitious strategy to re-invent the department store failed to take hold with consumers, making this one of the most interesting retail sagas of the year. Adding to the drama was the retailer’s courtroom battle with Macy’s over the Martha Stewart brand.

Saban Debuts New Global CP Division Click here to read the article

Global expansion is a must these days, and Saban made a large step in that direction when it merged its domestic and international licensing divisions to take a cohesive approach worldwide.

ABG Buys Two Celebrity Brands Click here to read the article

After a number of acquisitions earlier in the year including the purchase of Juicy Couture, Authentic Brands Group closed out 2013 with a bang when it bought both the Elvis Presley and Muhammad Ali IP.

Click here to see other big 2013 ACQUISITIONS

Sanrio Makes Hello Kitty a Super Hero Click here to read the article

Hello Kitty continued to reign supreme in the character world with a branded fleet of planes, crossovers with brands like KISS and Uglydoll and a superhero collaboration with DC Comics.

Click here for other JUST PLAIN FUN stories.

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